Do You Really Need a Marketing Plan?
Well, you have already determined your company goals, the period of time to achieve them, and the reasons why it is very important for you to reach these goals. You know WHAT, WHEN and WHY you want it. Very good! You are ready to start your business journey.
Now, imagine you are going for a trip without any idea in which direction you want to go. Where will you end up? You can only guess about it. But if from the very beginning you know your destination, then there are a lot of chances that you finally get there. Remember, “No man should travel until he has learned the language of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby, – so helpless and ridiculous” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Have you got the point? A marketing plan is your “language”, your road map, your GPS navigator guiding you on your way to success.
Most entrepreneurs agree that comprehensive strategic marketing planning is of vital importance for company’s growth. However, it is surprising how many businesses DO NOT develop a thorough plan which includes:
- clear and measurable financial goals for a specific period of time;
- target market;
- competitive positioning strategy;
- brand strategy;
- product or service overview;
- distribution channels;
- pricing strategy;
- major marketing campaigns;
- marketing budget;
- dates to review progress.
Yes, it takes considerable time and requires knowledge to develop a solid plan, but it is also the greatest opportunity to focus your efforts, generate new ideas, and find motivation, pleasure and fun in making your plan true.
Set your annual goals
Be ambitious but realistic. We do not want you to get depressed at the end of your term simply because your goals were exaggerated. Also, to avoid disappointment, set the dates to review your progress and make corrections. Always remember: “Man supposes – God disposes”?
Do your homework – do market research
To create a good marketing plan you have to do lots (and we really mean it) of research to gather enough information to determine if there is a demand for your product or service, what the industry trends are, who your potential customers are, who your main competitors are, what your strengths, weaknesses, competitive advantages and marketing opportunities are.
Define your target market
In five words your target market is: WHERE YOUR MONEY COMES FROM.
Who, why and how often is going to buy from you?
Think about how you are going to reach your target market
How will your prospective customers know about your product is real MARKETING, developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market to sell or buy goods or services. It is a KEY ELEMENT of your entire marketing strategy. Marketing campaigns play dramatic role in your company life and include many different media to choose from. It is crucial to remember that poor marketing can drive a very good company out of business or vice versa, make a company with a less than average product successful.
Make your product or service standing out of the crowd
What makes your product or service unique: operational excellence, product leadership, the lowest prices or customer intimacy? What sets it apart from your competitors? What value do you provide? Describe in detail your product or service, highlighting its special features. Think hard about your competitive positioning and branding strategy. Know your customers’ wants and needs, likes and dislikes. Create right images and words that will sell your product or services to more people more efficiently.
Develop your marketing budget
What are the costs that you allocated for your marketing campaigns? Remember,
MARKETING IS NOT A LIABILITY, IT IS AN INVESTMENT that generates cash flow to your bank account and gives opportunities for your business growth. Be careful and realistic with your numbers, don’t forget that expenses are always much bigger than you expect.
A well-written, detailed and comprehensive marketing plan is a basis that makes your company a profitable business.
And if you need our help, Mexley Marketing Inc. is always here for you!